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Nutrition

The power of food

13 What you eat and how much you eat
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Through the past decades until now our relationship with food has change a lot and this is the root of many problems nowadays, our diets are based on unhealthy foods, we eat too much junk, processed and fast foods for convenience but all this foods are loaded with hidden sugars, chemicals, extra ingredients, flavors that are one of the causes of health problems physical and mental.

Our mood throughout, the day, our energy levels, our ability to stay focus they all depend highly on what we eat and most of us most of the time eat too much calories and not enough nutrients, we demand too much to our body, we want to be at peak and perform great but we treat our body so bad.

If we want our body to function properly, to be efficient, to be at peak all day long and perform great we need to give the nutrients it needs and this is the power of food. The same way that what we´re eating right now is getting us sick, if we change our eating habits and eat meals prepared with real, fresh ingredients food can heal.

Food is fuel for our body, how we feel and how we look depends of what we eat, everything shows from the inside out.

I know and understand that most of us choose processed and fast food over real fresh meals thanks to the convenience in money and time, it´s easier, faster and cheaper to buy boxes of cereal and milk for breakfast than to cook some eggs every morning, we can grab some cookies, or chips to eat in the car because we´re late for school or work. Even when this options give us a solution in the short term, if we think about our health in the long term they´re not the best option.

Our body needs nutrients to function efficiently not calories, with processed, junk and fast food we´re giving our body too much calories and not enough nutrients, with real fresh foods we´re giving our body nutrients and less calories.

When we eat processed foods our body doesn´t know what to do with all those ingredients and it´s hard to digest and when it´s done there´s nothing that can be used, when we eat real foods our body knows what to do with them, it digest all the food and absorb the nutrients.

All real, fresh foods are loaded with micronutrients and macronutrients and our body needs both. Fiber, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, everything our body needs can be found in nature, there´s no reason to eat processed unhealthy foods that are only making us sick.

When we eliminate or avoid as much as possible unhealthy foods (processed, junk, fast food) and we focus on real fresh foods, inflammation on our body starts to reduce, it clears our skin, it improves mental disorders, improve systems in our body like the immune system, autoimmune system.

Food is our DNA, what we eat at every meal will have an impact on our body inside, and outside. If you love food as much as I do you need to know that it is possible to eat so many different dishes cooked with real, fresh ingredients but the hardest part is making the commitment of living healthier, we need to change our relation with food, if we use it the right way it is fuel for our body and it has the power to heal.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life. Pam

Sleep

Sleep and inflammation

01 How sleep impacts your day
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We all know that we need enough good quality sleep and the lack of it has negative consequences that will can see right the nest day in our mood, performance, cravings, etc. but consistent lack of sleep goes way further and the impact and consequences are bad for our health.

Lack of sleep increase inflammation but what is inflammation? Is a natural response from the immune system of our body to fight off harmful toxins that can cause diseases and also as a way to help our body heal from an injury.

Inflammation is beneficial and keeps us healthy but when it´s too often it can be the cause of many other health issues, as we said before inflammation is a response from our body to fight harmful toxins but when it´s too often this inflammations attacks healthy cells, organs, tissues and systems throughout our body which leads to chronic diseases.

Too much sleep or too little sleep both increase inflammation, poor sleep or sleep problems which cause poor sleep like insomnia, sleep apnea, waking up several times through the night also increase inflammation.

Inflammation is linked to the immune system and our immune system and sleep works according to the circadian rhythm which is the internal clock of our body. Our body does so many different jobs and they´re all scheduled through the circadian rhythm, if it goes out of time everything goes out of time and this out of sync or imbalance creates so many problems in our body, if the circadian rhythm goes out of rhythm so does the immune system which causes inflammation levels to raise.

We´ve also talked in other posts about the relation between stress and sleep, if we stressed right before going to bed we won´t be able to fall asleep and the poor quality of sleep of one night creates more stress in our body which becomes a negative unhealthy cycle that keeps inflammation in our body high.

To make everything worse and more complicated, our gut health is also important, and unhealthy gut also contributes to inflammation, we need to keep our gut healthy by exercising, following a healthy nutrition program and getting enough good quality sleep and having a healthy gut also helps us get good quality sleep so once again the 5 principles of fitness are working together.

Bad habits lead to health problems, we all know this and sleep quality is also an important part of our lifestyle, the best tool to improve sleep quality is having a sleep schedule, this way our body gets used to waking up at the same time every day and going to sleep at the same time every day, this gets the circadian rhythm of the body in balance and working effectively which makes it easier to fall asleep bringing so many positive benefits for our health which includes enough good quality sleep every night.

Inflammation protects the body and keeps us safe but when it´s too much for long periods of time it harms our body, the root cause of some chronic diseases is inflammation so we need to make sure to keep the levels right and for this we need enough good quality sleep, around 6 to 8 hours of good sleep every night and also a healthy nutrition program and exercise are key to keep the right levels of inflammation and they also improve sleep.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

How to change our mindset about stress

24 How to change our mindset about stress
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We talk a lot about mindset, it´s one of the 5 principles of fitness and it has an impact in our life, I´ve seen this in so many people. The ones who have the right mindset, the ones have develop the successful mindset are the ones who achieve more in life, the ones with a wrong mindset are the ones who stay stuck living an average life who spend so much time blaming, criticizing and complaining.

Our mindset is key so we need to develop the right mindset, how we think of stress is how it affects our life, if we think that stress is bad and it can get us suck then we will get sick but if we think that stress has a positive impact then we can make stress work for us so developing the right mindset and changing our thoughts and believes is key but changing thoughts and believes is one of the hardest things to do.

To change our thoughts and believes about stress we need to start by being aware and living in the present moment, when we´re in a stressful situation our body and mind acts according to past experiences and we take decisions based on those experiences and almost all time we make the wrong decision because we are not able to think, we just react instead of taking some time.

If we think about how our body responds in this situations, our heart rate goes up, we start to sweat, our mind creates the most negative situation and also start bringing some related situations from the past, it is at this moment when we need to be aware of all this going on and reframe the situation.

Once we are aware we need to take a time to breathe, breathing technique are incredibly amazing to help us calm down, take 6 deep breathes and you´ll feel your body calming down so you´ll be able to think and make the best choice, once you feel calm you need to start reframing the situation to a positive outlook. What´s the best scenario, start thinking about what´s the best decision you can make that will give you the best results.

When we reframe the situation to a positive outcome we start to find several solutions to our situation, this is hard to do at the beginning because our mind will always bring the negative stuff so we need to work to change that so that it stops thinking about the negative and instead focus on positive results.

This is the best way to deal with stressful situations, when we start doing this it´s easier to believe that stress is not bad and it can actually be helpful, another thing you need to do is remind yourself that stress is good for you and keep repeating this phrase over and over specially during stress.

Repeating over and over again that stress is good for us, that it will help us grow, that something good will come out of all of this our energy changes, if we feel our heart rate up, if we feel anxious and sweaty we can trick our brain saying that we are excited and we´re ready to go, instead of believing that we´re stressed out we can think that we´re excited, this is part of reframing the situation, if we think and really believe that stress can´t harm us we will be able to deal with is and use in the best way, one that work in our favor to get the results we want.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

The best time of the day to exercise to improve sleep

28 The best time of the day to exercise to improve sleep
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Many people are concerned about diet and exercise, what´s the best diet to lose weight? what´s the best workout to lose weight? but most of them do not give sleep the importance it deserves.

For me is not only about weight loss, in this case our goal is to help you improve body composition which means less body fat and more muscle mass but it doesn´t stops there it´s about living your best life possible and sleep plays an important role to help us live better and to help us achieve our fitness goals whether it´s gain muscle mass or lose body fat.

The biggest benefits come when we combine the 5 principles of fitness, developing healthy habits on each give us the best results so when we want to improve the quality of sleep, the time of the day at which we work out will have an impact.

The best time of the day to workout to improve sleep is in the morning, studies show that people who sleep in the morning tend to have more efficient sleep phases, sleep better and improve blood pressure.

There are some of us who can´t workout in the morning because of school or job but if you want to give it a try you just need 10 minutes, try to make those 10 minutes intense or at least moderate and in this case cardio is the best option, you can choose between HIIT or steady cardio, try it for a couple of weeks and see if the quality of your sleep improved.

If you see benefits and you want to keep it try to increase those 10 minutes to 15 or 20 minutes, if you like the changes, how it improves your day and sleep chances are you´ll get motivated and find ways to get in those 15 or 20 minutes of daily morning exercise.

The reason for this is that it improves the circadian rhythm of our body, in the morning after a good quality sleep night our body is in balance, all systems and hormones are working efficiently and exercise boost some of this hormones and it sends a signal to your brain to start the day strong, hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are beneficial if we use them the right way and they are higher in the morning so when we workout early in the morning we boost this hormones and which helps as preparation for the day and in the evening they´re lower and melatonin start to increase to help us fall asleep.

Now as always this is not a rule or law, there are people who workout in the night just a couple of hours before going to sleep and they get enough good quality sleep and there´s also people who workout in the morning who have bad quality sleep so you need to find out what works best for you.

For me it´s all about keeping it simple and working on improving the 5 principles of fitness which work together to give us the best benefits, working out in the morning at the same time every day specially outside is one of the best tools to improve quality of sleep, it is the right combination of exercise and sunlight exposure and you´re getting 2 at once.

Improving the internal clock of our body or circadian rhythm improves our day and life in so many different ways on just by having a sleep schedule and a morning routine are the best way to improve that internal clock.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

Stress and change

28 Stress and change
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Change is part of our lives, we all need to be open to change but many of us fear it. Stress caused by change is also normal, it happens to all of us but there´s a limit to what´s consider normal and when things go too far.

Some examples of changes are:

1.- Changing jobs

2.- Being fired

3.- Buying a house

3.- Starting a new project

4.- Changing cities

5.- Changing school

6.- Changing habits…

and many more. The important thing here is how we see this changes, if we see them as the beginning of an exciting journey things will go the right way because it will be easier to find solutions to all the challenges but most of us start over thinking and fear and anxiety takes place making any change so stressful.

The reason why change causes stress is because our mind, brain and body love comfort and love staying in the place that they know and the place they feel safe and with change we´re getting out of that comfort zone, it´s not safe, there´s nothing sure for the future, we don´t know what´s going to happen and we don´t have all the answers.

Change is a challenge it requires us to adapt and grow but when our mind and brain are lazy and they fear change it get´s though. What we can do is realize that change is necessary in all aspects of life, nothings is static everything is constantly changing so we need to have a positive mindset and embrace change with the right attitude knowing and believing that we have everything we need to get through.

The most important step is realize that change is part of our lives, it doesn´t matter if it seems to be a bad change in the beginning we need to find the positive outlook, reframe the whole situation and find all positive points, also realize that any change will get us out of our comfort zone so we´re going to face challenges.

Any challenge make us grow, this is where we learn and we grow and get stronger, this is where life get´s amazing and that´s what life is about, facing challenges that help us grow and become the best version of ourselves, this is also the way to live to our fullest and reach our potential.

If we embrace any change with this mindset and attitude, we will be able to be more creative and find more solutions to any challenge, we will be more focused and the results will be more positive, with all this stress won´t get as high and we can actually see it as an exciting part of life instead of a stressful situation.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

Chronic and metabolic diseases

24 Chronic metabolic diseases
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Some of us are really worried about obesity and overweight, some people who deal with their weight don´t even consider how this can lead to greater problems and the long term issues this can cause to their body and health.

Chronic metabolic diseases like obesity, overweight, diabetes, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, strokes, heart diseases have been increasing in the past years at a high speed. Some of them do not seem to be too serious but they can lead to greater diseases and health problems.

The cause of some of this problem is our unhealthy lifestyles, eating unhealthy foods which is poor nutrition, lack of sleep, not physical activity and high levels of stress. This leads to obesity and overweight which leads to bigger health issues.

Our body does so many different things every second even when we sleep which is a crucial part, with our unhealthy lifestyles all systems and hormones in our body get out of balance, our body can´t function properly and this leads to health problems.

Chronic metabolic diseases or metabolic syndrome is related to insulin resistance and the inability of our body use energy effectively and it stores it as fat. It has also been related to inflammation in the body which causes some health problems.

Metabolic diseases can be prevented by making some changes to our lifestyle, if we have an unhealthy lifestyle based on bad habits it will lead to many problems but if we develop good healthy habits which lead to a healthy lifestyle we can prevent some of those problems.

Following a healthy nutrition program is key, we need to make sure that our diet is based on real fresh foods, one ingredient foods and avoid junk, processed and fast food, working out 30 minutes per day, reducing stress or finding ways to cope with stressful situations and getting enough good quality sleep every night.

There´s not a secret here and nothing is new, it´s possible to prevent this diseases if we take care of ourselves, taking some time of each day to focus on ourselves gives us a lot of benefits not only for that day but in the long run.

We´ve overcomplicated things and hi has lead to confusion and so many lies and myths, if we stick to the basics, we keep everything simple and effective we get the best results, old school is still the best way, at least for me. There´s no reason to overcomplicate things it just gives us more excuses to not take action because it´s too complicated, trust the simple and basic stuff just give it time. It took us years to be where we are now, it will take time to get to where we want.

It´s not about wanting to lose weight as fast as possible it is about getting in shape and sustain it, it is about health and preventing diseases. Start today by changing your eating habits, stop eating junk, processed and fast food and choose real fresh ingredients, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, meats, poultry, oats, beans. Eat meals cooked or prepared with fresh ingredients, then start doing 20 minutes of exercise and improve the quality of your sleep. Small changes every day make a huge difference.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Benefits of optimal sleep

06 sleep and fat loss
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When it comes to fitness and health there are some changes we need to make in our lifestyle to live as best as possible, it´s not always about working as hard as you can, it´s always about working smarter, what are the best tools or the best habits you can develop that will give you the greatest benefits.

Improving the quality of sleep is one of them, most research and people in the industry recommend getting 8 hours of sleep but if you do the right things and improve the quality of sleep you can get 6 hours of sleep every night and feel great.

We´ve talked in other posts about the benefits of sleep for overall health and specially the negative impact on the short run but when we talk about longetivity, improving health and preventing diseases sleep is key.

1.- Good quality sleep improves skin health which help us get a youthful appearance, look younger

2.- Prevent diseases, most chronic diseases we´re seeing nowadays can be prevent with good quality sleep. Obesity, overweight and diabetes; stress, depression and anxiety, stress, and some others are linked to poor sleep and it´s been shown that when people improve the quality of sleep their health improve.

3.- Maintain a healthy weight.- Good quality sleep helps our body works efficiently this include systems and hormones and when our body is working efficiently it is easier to lose fat and maintain a healthy weight.

4.- Lower inflammation.- Many diseases are caused by inflammation in the body and having an sleep schedule helps our body function efficiently which keeps inflammation levels healthy.

5.- Improves memory.- Remembering information and keeping our brain at peak performance is based on good quality sleep.

6.- Sleep longer.- Enough good quality sleep help us live longer, here both are important too much or too little sleep is linked to a shorter lifespan.

Sleep is key for optimal health, most of us focus on diet and exercise but one night of poor sleep has negative consequences the next day and if this lack of sleep becomes consistent it affects negatively our health.

It´s possible to prevent chronic diseases but we need to commit to a healthy lifestyle and that healthy lifestyle includes a sleep schedule, we need to stop binging on Netflix and make our health our priority before it´s too late. Our unhealthy lifestyles are the root cause of many diseases nowadays so we need to develop healthy habits to live healthy lifestyles and to develop healthy habits means that we need to make different choices and that´s the hardest part.

Making a small different choice and repeating that new choice every single day will develop the new habit, take one choice or activity that you can change today and start doing it over and over, suddenly you´ll see that it´s part of your life.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

Differences between stress and pressure

27 Stress and pressure
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We´ve all been through stress and pressure at different moments in our lives and some of us talk about them as if both of them were the same and they´re actually different, stress and pressure are not the same.

For me the differences between stress and pressure are:

Stress is when you are in a situation where you don´t have enough resources to meet the outcome, you may not have enough time, money, etc  and when you don´t have control of the situation so the end results won´t depend completely of you.

Pressure is when we have control of the situation and the end results depends of you, of your performance, oh how productive, effective and efficient you are with what you have. Pressure is also when the outcome or result of the situation or project will have an impact .

In most cases for most of all pressure can be consider as a type of high stress because it comes from situations that matter to us and stress can be caused by daily situations which we cannot control and that are not as important for us.

The reason why it is important to identify both of them is to be able to act the best way possible for each situation, we need to identify if we are in a stressful situation or if we are dealing with pressure. If we are dealing with stress the best we can do is first ask ourselves how important is that situation for us, many of us pay too much attention to what others say and think of us, we spend too much time with negative people and this create stress and we don´t need it. Sometimes we make a big deal of meaningful situations and what´s impacting us is the way we react. What you can do here is breathe, take some deep breathes and feel your body calming down.

Then ask if there´s something we can do, in many cases there´s nothing we can do so we need to change our focus, do something different and work in other stuff and just move on.

When we´re under pressure this means there´s something we need to do whether it´s make a decision or finish a project in a short period of time we need to find the best options and solutions with what we´ve got. Sometimes we don´t have the best resources for time, energy, money, knowledge but our result can impact our job or our life so we need to make the best we can with what we´ve got, we need great performance, effectiveness and efficiency.

We know that stress can have a negative impact on our life and health while pressure can have a positive impact. For some of us pressure helps us stay focus and bring the best of us, taking it as a challenge to learn new skills, to improve, to get stronger is a way to get the best results while for others it can be overwhelming and can have very negative effects feeling as the highest level of stress.

Pressure can lead to anxiety, knowing that an outcome or end results depends of you and not knowing if you are going to be able to deliver on time at level expected and how is your end result going to be taken creates fear specially if you need to learn new skills.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goalsNutrition

Can we achieve any fitness goal without supplements?

23 Supplements
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One of the most effective ways to make a huge income in the fitness industry is by selling supplements so they create amazing marketing campaigns promising so many miracles and since most of us are looking for fast results with the least amount of effort we believe those miracles and buy the products and most products are really expensive.

The truth is that if your goal is to improve body composition, get in amazing shape and stay in amazing shape you don´t need supplements, some of them are helpful if the 5 principles of fitness are in place but you don´t need them to achieve any fitness goal.

What you do in the 5 principles of fitness is more important and is what gives you the best results. Your nutrition needs to be based on clean fresh foods and you just adjust your macronutrient intake accord to your goal, you eat more for muscle growth and eat less for fat loss. For training you focus on resistance training and add some cardio to stay lean or do a little more cardio to burn fat faster. You develop a wining mindset which will keep you on the right track and get you pass though times, you use stress the right way by lowering bad stress and using some of it to take action and bring the best of you. You get enough sleep 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep every night.

When those 5 principles are working together you don´t need supplements for fat loss or muscle growth, you can take some supplements to achieve your goal a little faster and for overall health.

Which supplements you should take will depend of your lifestyle, your daily activities and the type of diet you are following, I´m not an expert on supplements so before considering taking any of them consult with your doctor and get as much advice as possible. I share with you some of the supplements I´ve used in the past but I want to make it clear, before deciding to take any of them ask for advice.

Supplements like multivitamins are a good option, vitamin D helps reduce inflammation and protects the neurons among many other benefits and since we don´t get enough from natural sunlight. Fatty acids supplements specially omega 3 fatty acids can be beneficial the same as coconut oil. This are some supplements that can help you improve overall health but you need to ask your doctor for advice if you can take any of them, how and when to take them. Some of them need to be taken before meals while in others need to be taken with meals.

If you want some supplements that can help you achieve your fitness goals faster protein powders are the best option, it´s hard to get the amount of protein we need, a protein powders that combines different sources of protein are the best and the best time of the day to take them are before and after your workouts.

Remember that before taking any supplement, even protein powder or BCAAs you need to ask your doctor if you can take them and how you need to use them, if you don´t want to you don´t need to, you will get amazing results just by focusing on the 5 principles of fitness.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Sunlight and sleep

00 Training intro
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Did you have enough good quality sleep tonight? If you great with a lot of energy and excited for the amazing day you´ll have then you had a great night sleep, if you feel tired and are thinking on taking a rest and you have cravings for your favorite junk food you didn´t have enough sleep.

Now, another question, how much time of your day do you spend outside? Whether you think about it or not, getting sunlight improves our sleep, we´ve talked before of the circadian rhythm, the internal clock of our body. This internal clock dictates many functions of our body like hormone production, appetite and it revolves around the pattern of natural light.

Getting sunlight exposure specially in the morning helps our body get the circadian rhythm right or on time which makes it easier to our body to keep us awake and alert during day and as the sun starts to set it´s an indication for our body that it´s time to sleep so our body starts working on releasing melatonin to fall asleep and once we´re sleep our body starts working on recovering, healing and growing.

Body temperature is also important here, it keeps fluctuating throughout the whole day, our body reaches its coolest temperature in the morning before waking up and its highest late in the afternoon of evening. It goes very similar to sunrise and sunset.

When the internal clock of our body is out of time all systems and functions get out balance, natural sunlight tells our body when it´s time to sleep and when it´s time to stay awake, if we don´t consider this and we go to sleep late then we will wake up later which is what happens to many of us on weekends or we don´t have enough sleep which happens during the week and with this hormones are not released on time, and overall our body is not functioning as efficiently as it could be.

When you go to sleep late at night and you wake up later in the morning the next day even when you slept 8 hours your body is out of rhythm, there are still 24 hours in a day, the sun rise and sets at the same time every day and that´s what´s going to get the internal clock on time.

There´s a time of the day when the sun is at its highest point and its UVB rays are more intense so you need less time.

The best time to get sunlight exposure is in the morning between 6:30 am and 8:00 am, you can take advantage of that time and workout outside which has a lot of benefits for our health, studies show that working out in the morning also improves sleep at night but I know that most of us can´t workout at this time and for some it´s so difficult to get sun exposure in the morning but if you can take at least 10 minutes it will be effective.

Most of us get 1 to 2 hours for lunch on our jobs, try to eat your meal in one hour and take 10 to 15 minutes to take a walk outside, this is another way to get sunlight.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam